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AES Section Meeting Reports

Belgian - May 14, 2019

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Summary

On Tuesday 14 May, the Belgian Section of the Audio Engineering Society organised the Symposium on Audio Research and Practice in Belgium, in conjunction with the University of Ghent (UGent).

The symposium was chaired by Federica Bressan, a postdoctoral researcher at UGent, and AES Belgium section chair Brecht De Man. It took place at De Krook, a new building hosting the public library, startup accelerators, and part of the University of Ghent including the Institute for Psychoacoustics and Electronic Music (IPEM).

The goal of this event was to bring this community closer together, and for the Section leadership to gauge interest and competences in the small, multilingual region.

They were further encouraged by voices from industry and academia, who found that despite short distances the graduates and job openings don't always find each other, and research groups are not very aware of work happening in nearby institutions.

The support of the AES is a powerful catalyst in this endeavour, first in reaching part of the community by contacting the local membership, and further by lending legitimacy to the organisation and providing a vehicle to support further events and connect the attendees.

The afternoon was a mix of a dozen talks and a few demos, selected from responses to a call for proposals. The scope was intentionally broad, and encompassed academic, artistic and corporate projects, from larger overviews to technical presentations.
Speakers came from universities as well as from multinational companies and SMEs.

With 75 registrations and a healthy number of talk proposals, the size exceeded even the organisers' expectations, and part of the afternoon was split into themed tracks to accommodate all.

The event was concluded in style with a live coding music concert by Dago Sondervan in IPEM's immersive Art-Science-Interaction Lab.

As an epilogue to the event, the organisers have distributed a survey for Belgian audio engineers, specifically to gauge their fields of expertise. This may further help tailor section activities to the needs of the audio engineering community. The overall results will be shared with the community.

The Belgian section had been all but dormant for some time, with the exception of some Belgian Student Section events to which the wider membership was invited, until a year ago when chair Brecht De Man, vice chair Frank Duchêne and secretary Gert Van Hoof revived the section and organised a few get-togethers. This event marks the first big effort in the mission to connect the Belgian audio community.

More information about the event can be found on bit.ly/AudioSymposium, where survey results will be posted too. Related social media news uses the hashtag #AudioInBelgium.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society